AC-T: Buncombe leads state in rate of home births

Here’s an excerpt from the Asheville Citizen-Times article:

Buncombe County leads North Carolina in the rate of home births, a practice that has seen a surge nationwide.

About 2.4 percent of all births in Buncombe happened in the home – four times the state average of 0.6 percent – during 2011, the most recent year from which state statistics are available.

The figures in part explain how the death of an unborn child and related charges against a woman acting as midwife despite having no state certification have focused attention on home births and why parents are opting for them.

For the Jackie and Lakota Denton of West Asheville, they wanted their child born in a “quieter, darker, calmer, more familiar environment” and they wanted someone they felt comfortable with who would be with them throughout the process.

The Dentons planned to have their baby with a midwife at their home last year. It didn’t work out that way, and the couple ended up going to the hospital where their son Tayo was born.

But the couple say they would try home birth again.

“I think it (home birth) is the only thing we would consider,” Lakota Denton said.

Of the more than 2,500 babies born in Buncombe in 2011, 62 were delivered at home, though it’s not clear how many of those were planned home births.

Although still a small number, the percentage of home births in the U.S. increased by 29 percent from 2004 to 2009, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

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